Electric Vehicles (EVs): Low Emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds

Electric Vehicles (EVs): Low Emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds

According to a recent study, Electric Vehicles (EVs) can reduce the emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in India by 2030.

Recently, a study was conducted at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (Mohali). Its purpose was to evaluate and analyze potential solutions to improve air quality.

According to this study, the replacement of all two wheelers and three wheelers running on petrol, diesel, LPG and CNG fuel by the year 2030 by electric vehicles will lead to the following outcomes:

  • Emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) without methane will be reduced by up to 91 percent.
  • Emissions of other pollutants such as carbon monoxide, PM2.5 and toxic volatile organic compounds will be reduced by 80 percent, 44 percent and 78 percent respectively.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs):

VOCs are compounds that have high vapor pressure and low water solubility. Their structure is such that they evaporate under normal atmospheric conditions of room temperature and pressure. Benzene, formaldehyde and toluene are some examples.

Sources of VOCs:

  • Natural sources: Plants emit VOCs for the following.
  • Anthropogenic sources: They are used and produced in the manufacture of paints, pharmaceuticals and refrigerants. These are also emitted from petrol and diesel vehicles.

Effects of VOCs

  • Effects on the environment: VOCs can induce the formation of other hazardous pollutants such as surface ozone, secondary organic aerosols, PM2.5, etc.
  • Health Effects: It causes irritation in eyes, nose and throat. In addition, body parts are also damaged. It can also cause cancer.

Measures to combat VOCs emissions:

  • The Geneva Protocol of 1991 deals with the control of emissions or their cross-border flow of volatile organic compounds.
  • This is a protocol related to the 1979 Convention on Long Range Cross-Border Air Pollution.

Gothenburg Protocol, 1999:

  • Its aim is to reduce acidification, eutrophication and surface ozone. There is no national level monitoring program for VOCs in India.
  • Benzene is the only VOC included in the ambient air-quality standards.

Source – The Hindu

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